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The benefits of network relations for firms’ competitive advantage are increasingly acknowledged in the strategic management literature. Yet, the cost implications of…
The benefits of network relations for firms’ competitive advantage are increasingly acknowledged in the strategic management literature. Yet, the cost implications of engaging in network-specific relations, stemming from the irreversibility of sunk costs invested in creating network relations, are largely ignored. Such costs tend to be especially pronounced in high technology firms. It follows that the costs of creating network relations may mask the benefits of such relations, suggesting that networks can be a competitive risk for firms in cases where network relations unexpectedly terminate. This chapter adopts a cost-benefit approach to an empirical analysis showing that while in the long term, network relations enhance high technology firms’ performance, short-term efforts in creating network relations may hamper their performance. Furthermore, we show that greater technological intensity intensifies the negative performance implications of short term network participation and the positive performance implications of long term network participation.
Aims to solve the problem of why newer organizational models are losing their capability to elaborate and develop valuable firm‐specific sources of competitive advantages…
Aims to solve the problem of why newer organizational models are losing their capability to elaborate and develop valuable firm‐specific sources of competitive advantages. Devotes special attention to the interdependent link between the rise of flexible employment relations and the diminishing capability of newer organizational models to sustain the sources of firm‐specific competitive advantages. Argues that an organization which relies heavily on flexible workforces will lose its ability to bind, retain as well as attract its skilled and most important idiosyncratic workers. First describes how the traditional organizational order, known as Fordism, is challenged and what newer organizational models claim to offer. Develops two different conceptional models that depict the hypothesized interdependent relation between the quality and degree of employment relations and the firms’ capability to use and elaborate the idiosyncratic knowledge of its workforce. Shows that the workforce has to be recognized as an increasingly non‐replicable, intangible, difficult to replicate firm‐specific source of sustainable advantage that cannot easily be imitated by competitors if retained and bound within organizational boundaries.
The enabling role of accounting in supporting classical contractual exchange has been extensively analysed in agency theory. In contrast, analyses the role of accounting…
The enabling role of accounting in supporting classical contractual exchange has been extensively analysed in agency theory. In contrast, analyses the role of accounting in enabling empirically important and welfare‐enhancing long‐term relations which rely on trust and co‐operation rather than legal remedies. Under what circumstances does accounting strengthen, weaken or even destroy the trust which underpins relations both within and between organizations? What are the implications for accountability? Explores these general questions in the contrasting contexts of compulsory contracting policies in UK local government and the transition from socialism in Eastern Europe.
Public relations evaluation is a complex issue because of the hierarchy of effects of public relations activity and the involvement of third parties such as the press and broadcast media. Evaluation can be either summative or formative, although the two are frequently confused. This article establishes principles of evaluation that can form a foundation for a more sophisticated “toolkit” approach.
This case study aims to analyse dyadic empirical relations within food supply chains. The categories of market, hierarchy or power, network and social relations were used…
This case study aims to analyse dyadic empirical relations within food supply chains. The categories of market, hierarchy or power, network and social relations were used to disclose the coordinative structures on the chain level and connect these with the chain development.
The actors of three vegetable supply chains were interviewed. The coordinative relations of actors were identified and the coordinative structures on the chain level were made visible by combining the ego networks of chain actors. The “story of supply chain development” was intertwined with the analysis.
The studied food supply chains were coordinated mostly by duplex or multiplex relations, combining market, hierarchy or power, network and social relations. In addition to the strategic network, presented in literature, the study identified a coordinative structural mode of socially overlaid network. In general, the network relation was found to be used as an effective “glue” within all coordinative structures. Both coordinative structural modes exhibited substantial growth, on the condition that agricultural base and buyers enabled enlargement.
Economic sociological perspective has been used in explaining food supply chain development by making visible the coordinative relations and structures on the chain level. The chain level phenomena appear as a promising field of study.
Based on the findings in earlier research of the importance of relationships in general, and relationships to social actors in particular to explain innovation processes…
Based on the findings in earlier research of the importance of relationships in general, and relationships to social actors in particular to explain innovation processes in emerging economies, the aim of the paper is to reach a better understanding of the mechanisms behind innovations in these economies. This has been accomplished through an investigation of an innovation process and the relationships between two business firms and a NGO that were central for its progression. Theoretically the study is constructed on the concepts of trust, commitment and cultural capability in long and short-term relationships as discussed in business network theory and theory on discontinuous innovation. A case study method is used and the social innovation project ‘Connexão Belterra’ that enabled connectivity in the distant Amazon region of Pará, Brazil, was investigated.
The purpose of this paper is to bridge the boundaries separating strategic and comparative institutional perspectives on human resource systems and employment relations…
The purpose of this paper is to bridge the boundaries separating strategic and comparative institutional perspectives on human resource systems and employment relations. Each research tradition has investigated the role and outcomes of corporations as they operate in an increasingly global economy. Researchers in these traditions, however, ask different research questions and draw on distinct social science disciplines, theoretical assumptions, and research methodologies. While they have pursued parallel but separate tracks, we argue that they have important lessons for each other. In this paper, we review the core characteristics and critiques of each research tradition, provide a series of examples of efforts to bridge their differences, and offer suggestions for future integration.
This chapter addresses social embeddedness effects on ex ante management of economic transactions. We focus on dyadic embeddedness, that is the history of prior…
This chapter addresses social embeddedness effects on ex ante management of economic transactions. We focus on dyadic embeddedness, that is the history of prior transactions between business partners and the anticipation of future transactions. Ex ante management through, for example, contractual arrangements is costly but mitigates risks associated with the transaction, such as risks from strategic and opportunistic behavior. Dyadic embeddedness can reduce such risks and, hence, the need for ex ante management by, for instance, making reciprocity and conditional cooperation feasible. The chapter presents a novel theoretical model generating dyadic embeddedness effects, together with effects of transaction characteristics and management costs. We stress the interaction of the history of prior transactions and expectations of future business. Hypotheses are tested using new and primary data from an extensive survey of more than 900 purchases of information technology (IT) products (hard- and software) by almost 800 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Results support, in particular, the hypotheses on effects of dyadic embeddedness.
This chapter focuses on the role played by both companies and universities on the dissemination of services and courses related to Business Diplomacy (BD). Special…
This chapter focuses on the role played by both companies and universities on the dissemination of services and courses related to Business Diplomacy (BD). Special attention is given to the partnerships between companies and universities and to how BD is taught by universities around the world.
With an exploratory analysis technique, we have surveyed the websites of 22 companies and 20 universities and institutions, belonging to various countries, engaged in activities related to BD (i.e. services supply, courses at different stages of the academic curricula, workshops, seminars, training etc.).
The objective of the analysis was twofold: first, to give a better understanding of the concept of BD and of the various meanings associated with it; the results indicate that in both cases the practiced concept of BD is converging to the canonical set of diplomatic functions; second, to offer useful insights to practitioners in the field of BD by looking at the type of BD courses covered by the academic curricula of various universities and BD services offered by market companies.
This chapter presents a comprehensive analysis of the BD issue, going beyond its treatment as a mere auxiliary activity. It also offers a detailed overview of diplomacy’s main functions and adjuvant activities, with the purpose of advancing organisational charts’ structures inside companies, and academic syllabi offerings by universities.
With the disaggregation and fine-slicing of global value chains, offshoring and outsourcing has become increasingly relevant for many MNEs. The purpose of this chapter is…
With the disaggregation and fine-slicing of global value chains, offshoring and outsourcing has become increasingly relevant for many MNEs. The purpose of this chapter is to understand the value creation of the receiving partner of outsourcing activities. This is a firm that will have many outsourcing alliances with partners, and one perspective to frame these alliances is the alliance portfolio perspective. We ask – how can a firm on the receiving end of outsourcing create value through the management of its alliance portfolio?
Through a case study of a company supplying products to manufacturing industries, we investigate ways in which the company adds value for customers through different models of customer integration. Applying an alliance portfolio perspective, we study benefits of grouping alliances with customers and suppliers.
Whereas most studies of alliance portfolios have focused on value creation within a portfolio, we find that the mediating capability of coordinating between groups or portfolios of alliances is critical. We also see that the risk aspect is important for firms receiving outsourcing activities.
Our findings have implications for the strategy and organization of the mediating firm on the receiving end of outsourcing. We have only data from one firm, and therefore our findings need to be tested further.
Our findings have implications for managers organizing large alliance portfolios to include risk and mediation capabilities.
The chapter uses original in-depth data.